Durban — Maritzburg United Chairman Farook Kadodia has commented on the departure of coach Ernst Middendorp, indicating that he does not want the club to continue being involved in relegation battles.
Speculation arose on Tuesday that the veteran coach had parted ways with the Team of Choice. Middendorp has since confirmed that he is no longer with the club.
“We have invested a lot in football development overall but especially in the past two years. We supported the coach fully and the board felt that by investing so much money every year we cannot be continuously fighting relegation,” Kadodia is quoted to have said by Times Live.
Middendorp was appointed as Maritzburg United coach for a fourth spell in November 2020, succeeding current Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler after the club was on a poor run of form. He ended up leading the club to a 13th place finish during the 2020/21 season before following that up with a 12th place finish during the last campaign.
As far as the performances on the pitch went, Middendorp’s latest stint with the club barely brought about any improvement as far as the team’s fortunes go. However, it can also be argued that he did relatively decently in lieu of the situation that he faced. He had to work with limited resources and had to manage the club amidst the departures of former key players including Bandile Shandu to Orlando Pirates at the start of last season and Bongokuhle Hlongwane who joined American club Minnesota United midway through last season.
According to reports, one coach who is currently being linked with a return to Maritzburg is Fadlu Davids who recently parted ways with Orlando Pirates. Should Davids return to the Harry Gwala Stadium, it will be for a second stint after his first ended in December 2018.
Davids achieved success during his first stint at the helm of the Pietermaritzburg based club as he led them to the final of the Nedbank Cup in 2018 where they lost to Free State Stars. He also led the Team of Choice to a fourth place league finish which is their highest ever finish in the top-flight in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era.
If Davids returns to Maritzburg, he will reunite with his brother Maahier who served as the club’s assistant coach under Middendorp.
However, Maritzburg United may have to fend off competition from SuperSport United for the services of Davids.
Attempts to contact Davids and Maritzburg United Chairman Farook Kadodia were unsuccessful at the time of writing.